A common plea from health professionals is for people to improve their diet. Now medical staff is getting a chance to practice what they preach, as local hospitals go greener.
“We took an approach that we call a journey to a healthier you. And that effort was to try to introduce to staff better options in their meal plan,” says Larry Altier, director of Food & Nutrition Services with Lee Memorial Health System.
Lee Memorial Health System is moving into the future, reshaping menus for all its food consumption locations. One staple in most commercial kitchens will be history.
“We will be removing all our fryers from all our cafeterias. So we push people away from their preponderance to fried foods and lead them to healthier products like freshly made salad or whole fruit or maybe a lean burger or a lean piece of chicken with no skin,” says Altier.
Everything they are doing here, you can do at home. And they hope you do. Making healthier choices can be as easy as using less salt, buying low fat diary or sprucing up a salad.
“One of the challenges as we lead people on this journey is that they’ve got at least 30 years of cultural behaviors established in their consumption patterns. So people have engrained behaviors that we are now trying to slowly change,” says Altier.
The first to make the switch, Cape Coral Hospital is seeing a healthy dividend.
“We introduced lean meats, more fish, fresh vegetables, a vegetarian option daily - all of which resulted in a significant increase in sales during times when the other properties weren’t as successful,” says Altier.
The proof as they say, is in the pudding - or in this case the salad bar.